Earlier this year, kidney dialysis equipment maker Fresenius Medical Care North America was served with a class action and wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the death of a Pennsylvania patient undergoing treatment for advanced renal failure. As we have reported in other posts, wrongful death lawsuits are essentially claims in negligence commenced by surviving family members against the responsible defendant or the defendant’s estate. In this case, the surviving family members named Fresenius in its lawsuit for failing to adequately warn patients of the risk of heart attack and other grave side effects when using home dialysis equipment. The plaintiff seeks to instate a class of plaintiffs who have suffered similar injuries, which will require approval from a federal judge under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 23.
Details and Background of Case Against Fresenius
Patients suffering from advanced renal failure are often given the opportunity to undergo kidney dialysis treatment at home, as opposed to at a dialysis center. The home-based medical products consist of a dialysis machine and bags of fluid to be filtered through the blood stream, often over an eight or 12-hour period. One of the fluid products, known as GranuFlo, is named as the cause of the decedent’s heart attack and is blamed for causing “unreasonably dangerous level of bicarbonate in the blood stream during dialysis causing metabolic alkalosis and a corresponding substantial increase in the risk of cardiopulmonary arrest during dialysis treatment.”
During the discovery process, plaintiffs were able to uncover evidence to suggest Fresenius knew, or should have known, of the dangers of GranuFlo. The Complaint alleges that as early as 2004, the renal care medical community was aware of a possible link between GranuFlo and increased levels of bicarbonate. Plaintiffs point to an internal memo circulated in 2011 which was given to Fresenius’ medical directors but proceeded no further.
The following year, an additional memo was anonymously submitted to the FDA, resulting in a Class I recall of GranuFlo products.
Related Wrongful Death Cases Reveal Possible Causal Link
This case is not the first time Fresenius has encountered allegations of negligent conduct. In 2009, a mother of five passed away from a massive hemorrhage allegedly linked to the dialysis treatment products offered by Fresenius. It offered the surviving family members a seven-figure settlement.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney if You Suffered Harm During Kidney Dialysis
If you or a loved one endured symptoms similar to those listed above, you may be interested in commencing a personal injury, class action or wrongful death lawsuit. The Law Office of Nelson C. Barry can help you recover the costs of your medical expenses and excessive debts incurred as a result of treating chronic renal failure and faulty medical equipment. For more information, contact our office today.